Learn how to love & friendship.
On the Friendship of Kindred Minds
When I urge you so strongly to your studies, it is my own interest which I am consulting; I want your friendship, & it cannot fall to my lot unless you proceed, as you have begun, with the task of developing yourself.
For now, although you love me, you are not yet my friend, A friend loves you, of course; but one who loves you is not in every case your friend.
Friendship, accordingly, is always helpful, but love sometimes even does harm.
Try to perfect yourself, if for no other reason, in order that you may learn how to love.
Hasten, in order that, while thus perfecting yourself for my benefit, you may not have learnt perfection for the benefit of another.
To be sure, I am already deriving some profit by imagining that we two shall be of one mind, & that whatever portion of my strength has yielded to age will return to me from your strength, although there is not so very much difference in our ages.
Yet I wish to rejoice in the accomplished fact; We feel a joy over those whom we love, even when separated from them, but such a joy is light & fleeting; the sight of a person & their presence & communion with them, afford something of living pleasure.
This is true, at any rate, if one not only sees the person one desires, but the sort of person one desires.
Give yourself to me, as a gift of great price & that you may strive the more, reflect that you yourself are mortal & that I am old.
When you would find out whether you have accomplished anything, consider whether you desire the same things to-day that you desired yesterday.
A shifting of the will indicates that the mind is at sea, heading in various directions, according to the course of the wind, That which is settled & solid does not wander from its place.
This is the blessed lot of the completely wise person & also, to a certain extent, of one who is progressing & has made some headway.
Now what is the difference between these two classes of people?
The one is in motion, to be sure, but does not change its position; it merely tosses up & down where it is; the other is not in motion at all.
Farewell, Seneca, StoicTaoist.